After withdrawing from the nuclear deal in May, the U.S. has further punished a weakened Iran with the latest round of sanctions.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said during an exclusive interview with Bret Baier on “Special Report,” that the latest sanctions enacted by President Trump in August have Iran “feeling the pain,” Fox News reported Wednesday.
“They feel weak and we are suffocating them to the point that they have to address ballistic missiles; they have to address their support on terrorism,” Haley said.
This summer’s sanctions affected Iran’s automobile, gold, and metal industries. The sanctions had been in place years ago, but were lifted when former President Obama sealed the nuclear deal in 2015.
The next round of sanctions will go into effect in Nov., which will target Iran’s vital oil industry.
Ahead of the August sanctions, Iran’s economy was already in crisis, prompting mass protests. Iran’s currency, the rial, has been in severe decline, losing approximately 80 percent of its value against the U.S dollar. A 13 percent unemployment rate and price increase on all goods has driven Iranian citizens into further outrage.
“Our focus right now is on the Iranian people,” Haley said. “I mean, they have protested, they have spoken out, they have said they want a better life. … But at the end of the day, we can’t allow them to have any nuclear programs.”
The widespread unrest has led to concerns of a civil war in Iran.
Mass Protests Sweep #Iraq aimed at #Iran, its Militias and affiliated Political parties. Anger boiling over economic stagnation, wasted resources and abandonment. #Baghdad shuts Internet, sends US-trained elite counter-terror units to quell economic unrest https://t.co/Ly5oamnHGq pic.twitter.com/0MaSQX711A
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) July 16, 2018
Haley also remarked on former Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that countries can “wait out” the Trump Administration for sanctions and other issues to improve.
“They can wait this president out, but this president is what saved us with this policy. Because otherwise, within just a few years, they would have gotten all this money and it would have been lifted anyway,” she said, noting the sunset provisions in the Iran nuclear deal. Some of the restrictions on Iran’s centrifuge production was set to end in 2025.
Haley also issued a warning to Iran and other countries in the Middle East who may consider violent measures.
“What we told, you know, the Syrians, the Russians and the Iranians was, well, twice — we have warned you not to use chemical weapons; twice you have used it, and twice President Trump has acted,” she said. “Don’t test us again. Because I think the odds are very much against them.”